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The bigger picture following Sunday's severe weather event

Growing the bigger picture following Sunday's severe weather event

Click HERE for this morning’s video update from Bruce Horne.

This morning, Bruce Horne, Civil Defence Controller for Rotorua Lakes Council, provided an update on the status of the response to the severe weather event that hit the district on Sunday.

There are currently two key areas of focus: to continue building a picture of the scope of damage across the district and also to determine the degree of welfare support needed.

Mr Horne said that the size of the event is presenting some challenges in respect of gaining a clear picture of the number of locations and individual properties that have been affected.

“You need to know that the event has hit right across our district from Reporoa and Rerewhakaaitu in the south across to Lake Tarawera and our northern boundaries.

“Every day we are finding new things, new damage that we weren’t aware of, and people boxing along on their own who really need some help,” said Mr Horne.

Drones have been used to provide an aerial view of the damage, particularly in the rural areas, and to help build a really clear picture so response teams can plan, prioritise and make decisions.

While Council has received hundreds of calls in the last few days, all calls are recorded and there is an excellent system in place to ensure people get the help and support they need.

“Even though it’s a huge task and it’s going to take a few days to get through that we are working through it and I can’t stress enough that you do contact us if you need any help or support,” said Mr Horne.

In terms of welfare support there are teams on the ground, including assistance from out of town, to ensure everyone who needs support is identified and their needs are met.

We are working with a number of agencies, including Ministry of Social Development, other government agencies, and the Insurance Council, to make sure that they’re aware of what is going on and can offer appropriate support to people going forward.

Mr Horne also stressed the rock solid commitment of Rotorua Lakes Council in supporting the community and all those affected.

“I just want to give you that assurance that although you might be waiting, and I understand the frustration in waiting for the help or waiting for the advice, please do be patient and also be assured that there is a really strong commitment that people want to help and do the very best they can,” said Mr Horne.
It is really important that if you have been affected, or you know of people who have been affected and still need support, please ring Rotorua Lakes Council on 07 348 4199 or Freephone 0800 020 001.
[ENDS]

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